Through no fault of their own, 3500 children in Alberta have lost their school board.
An external audit of Trinity Christian School Association and their home school affiliate, Wisdom Homeschooling, has allegedly revealed what Alberta Education calls financial irregularities. The province says that Wisdom, which administered and supervised the homeschooling for Trinity, retained $988,000 in unclaimed parent funding granted from the provincial government.
Trinity and Wisdom dispute any financial abuse or irregularities and say that Alberta Education rules mandate that any unclaimed funding stay within the school.
But these newly revealed allegations have led the Alberta government to strip Trinity Christian School Association and Wisdom Homeschooling of provincial accreditation, leaving one-third of Alberta’s homeschooled children -- 3,500 students -- with no school board, and no provincial education.
There are questions that need to be answered by all parties involved, but while the legal and financial issues get sorted out elsewhere by other people, the children and families of Trinity are left hanging.
Parents found out late in the afternoon of October 25th, that their children had no school board effective immediately. Some parents were robocalled, some emailed, and others found out when friends and family read the information on other school boards websites.
Parents feel disrespected, blindsided and left in the dark. They want to know why they weren’t informed earlier about any audit or irregularities that could have resulted in the termination of the school board accreditation.
Parents of homeschooled high school students facing diploma exams say their children need to be registered for their exams in early November. The lack of forethought in warning the families of these students could derail their post-secondary ambitions.
Where can these students go? Are the other homeschool boards staffed and equipped to handle a sudden influx of 3,500 students who already have their education plans in place for the year? And should they even have to?
If this were a public school, the government would have terminated the board and brought in outside managers to make sure the students and families weren't affected by something so far out of their control.
But these are homeschool families with parents directing the education of their children. These are families that don’t want a cookie-cutter education at the hands of left-wing ideologues in the education system and they are the ones in charge. That’s in direct opposition to the NDP’s government-knows-best ideology. These are mostly Christian homeschool families, so they are doubly targeted by the NDP.
The NDP has displayed overt disdain for Christianity. We saw it when they stripped the word Christmas out of their Christmas parties, when they tried to hijack a motion to support educational choice by adding the government as equals to parents as the directors of their children’s education, and in the threats levied by the Ministry against a private Christian school that refuses to comply with Bill 10 for religious reasons.
If you believe in parents rights, and religious right, then please sign the petition below.
These students need to get back to learning. That’s the most important thing right now, and that's what Alberta Education should have been most worried about.
These families shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. If you agree please sign the petition.
Minister David Eggen should enact an immediate interim solution so that the Trinity students can get back to their education in their same school board without disruption.